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Politics

Scott Asks Conservatives to Help Push His Legislative Agenda

March 3, 2015 - 6:00pm

Rick Scott went back to basics on Wednesday: attacking Obamacare and launching TV ads.

After the State of the State on Tuesday, Scott turned back to Obamacare which has been a favorite target of his for years. In a Politico piece on Wednesday, Scott called on Obama to stake a stand on Obamacares state exchanges just as the Supreme Court was looking at them.

Obamacare might not be of much interest to moderates or independent voters this year. But these are precisely the voters that Scott is not targeting. Scotts trying to get conservative Floridians behind him to ensure they back his legislative agenda -- and let their representatives know it.

Case in point: Scotts new TV ad. On Wednesday, Lets Get to Work brought out a new commercial showing off how the economy has blossomed under Scott. Always, at best, an awkward public speaker, the ad shows Scotts strengths as a communicator: focus, clear messaging and quick data points. Scott is far better in short ads than he is when he delivers a speech.

Ads have served Scott well over the years, introducing voters to who he is and bashing Bill McCollum, Alex Sink and Charlie Crist. In the new ads, Scott asks Floridians to back his agenda by calling up their legislators. Since Republicans have a veto-proof majority in the House and have strong control of the Senate, once again Scott is calling on conservatives to help advance his agenda

To be sure, Scott has his flaws for conservative voters. The governor angered conservatives on immigration matters, for example, failing to bring an Arizona-style law to Florida and backing away from mandatory E-Verify.

But Scott has always done well with conservatives for adamantly opposing Obamacare from the start. Scott made his political debut with Conservatives for Patients Rights (CPR) which was active early and often against Obamacare. Even though McCollum launched the constitutional challenge to Obamacare, Republican primary voters thought Scott was more of a conservative and backed him in 2010.

Scott should be able to get most of what he wants this session, even though he has been hobbled in recent weeks by the controversy over Gerald Baileys dismissal at FDLE and the recent RPOF chairmanship election which saw Leslie Dougher lose her position despite Scotts support. But the Senate will be hard to manage and Scott cant afford to hedge his bets. That means Scotts back to his political bread and butter: talking about the economy, opposing Obamacare and running TV commercials.


Tallahassee-based political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis exclusively for Sunshine State News.

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